UK and Estonia-based challenger banking app Monese has raised $60 million from a host of high-profile investors including PayPal.

Monese is the brainchild of founder Norris Koppel (pictured below), who moved to the UK from Estonia and was denied a bank account as he has no credit history or utility bills to prove his address.

Founded in 2015, the start-up provides a mobile-only current account targeting customers who have recently arrived in a country or have a ‘thin’ credit file.

monese

The $60 million Series B round was led by global investor Kinnevik, with participation from PayPal, European investor Augmentum Fintech and International Airlines Group for its loyalty and data business Avios Group.

Existing backers including Investec's INVC Fund also participated.

In a blog post announcing the investment, Monese said: "As in the UK, adoption rate has exceeded our expectations. Now, Europe is embracing the Monese product even faster than the UK market.

"We see this as a vindication of our original mission statement - and a validation of our approach in addressing the inefficiencies and limitations inherent to the current banking system. Monese today services nearly 600,000 users who are moving over $2.5bn a year."

The start-up added that the number of new monthly customers has been tripling since the end of 2017.

Monese will use the capital to increase the size of its operation and accelerate its plans for international expansion.

mon

"We’ll be able to recruit more all-star talent in our London and Tallinn offices, augmenting existing teams but also opening up new roles all across the business," the business wrote, adding that it also plans to open a new base in Lisbon, Portugal.

The company has grown from a team of 36 at the beginning of 2017 to 140 people.

 "Additional funding means we'll be able to continue hiring the brightest and best - and expand our mission to make global banking accessible to everyone," Monese added.